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Old 07-27-2011, 08:24 PM   #1
DizzC
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Kobo Touch Teardown [Pictures]

I am getting a little tired of my plain white kobo so I was thinking about maybe giving it a nice custom paint job. In anticipation of that I decided to see how hard disassembly would be. Turns out it was pretty damn easy. Pry off the back cover and remove 11 screws and you are in business.

If you have any questions or request for other pictures let me know.
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Last edited by DizzC; 07-27-2011 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:35 PM   #2
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Cool!

Last edited by beautifulsoup; 07-27-2011 at 08:36 PM. Reason: emoticons!
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DizzC View Post
In anticipation of that I decided to see how hard disassembly would be. Turns out it was pretty damn easy.
Taking something apart is always easy. The tricky bit is putting it back together.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:41 PM   #4
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Taking something apart is always easy. The tricky bit is putting it back together.
Nah.. Reassembly is easy..

Making it work AFTER reassembly; now that's the tough one!
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:44 PM   #5
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samsung klm2g...

That don't look like no microSD in a slot !

This one will be much harder to hack or even backup and restore if your clumsy hacking screws it up, than the previous model with a removable internal micro sd card. You could just pop that into your computer and clone the drive as a back up. If you screw up, write the backup back onto the microSD.

Although it is very nice to see that it's so easily opened. Battery replacement after a few years will be no problem. So you can have it FOREVER!

Last edited by readingglasses; 07-27-2011 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the.Mtn.Man View Post
Taking something apart is always easy. The tricky bit is putting it back together.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterT View Post
Nah.. Reassembly is easy..

Making it work AFTER reassembly; now that's the tough one!
Well you guys can rest easy since re-assembly went just fine and everything is fully functional.

Now I just have to decide what colors I want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by readingglasses View Post
samsung klm2g...

That don't look like no microSD in a slot !

This one will be much harder to hack or even backup and restore if your clumsy hacking screws it up, than the previous model with a removable internal micro sd card. You could just pop that into your computer and clone the drive as a back up. If you screw up, write the backup back onto the microSD.

Although it is very nice to see that it's so easily opened. Battery replacement after a few years will be no problem. So you can have it FOREVER!
Regarding the battery; I wanted to remove that as well when I was doing my teardown but they glued that sucker in there super tight. I manged to get one edge lose but I was afraid that I would break something if I continued on.

Last edited by DizzC; 07-27-2011 at 09:50 PM. Reason: More quotes!
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:12 PM   #7
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That IS bad news about the battery being glued in. Is it all glue or is it solder?

This is definitely a very difficult battery replacement, now, if you end up owning it long enough.
Glue would need heat and or solvent and take a long time, if you don't want to risk chipping away at the glue or cracking the board as you pull. It looks too tight for a soldering iron to progressively melt away the metal without totally melting and scratching and destroying the board on which it sits, or to even really get to the solder, if it's under there. Although solder would be pretty stupid as an isolated, non-current, connection/fastening for a battery.

Tsk, tsk, tsk. What a shame.

There is one option if the battery dies in a few years: break the battery from the top. Wear safety glasses, a mask, gloves and work outside. But you break down the battery with various methods until there's only the bottom case shell. Then clean that up, sand it down, and squeeze in a new battery. Jeez!

The odds of this for most people are going to be a slipped screwdriver, a hammer pounded too hard, or a hot iron tip that just touched one of the IC's when you weren't looking and your device is shot anyway. Not to mention cut fingers. And that's even if you don't use a knife.

or you could just try and pull it all the way and use solvent, if the battery is dead anyway.

Last edited by readingglasses; 07-27-2011 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:34 PM   #8
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There is one solution if you can live with the device not being simply in its shell. You could just connect a battery pack over usb and run it with a dead battery inside, perhaps. Depending on the circuit paths.
But the battery will eventually leak on the other components and it's not a cool looking solution.
So, I guess this is a "disposable device" after all. Maybe a tech repair shop will have the skills and tools to replace it with ease, though.

Last edited by readingglasses; 07-27-2011 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:38 PM   #9
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Well you guys can rest easy since re-assembly went just fine and everything is fully functional.
I thought it was a law of the universe that you always have one part left over after re-assembly?
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:41 PM   #10
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I'm kind of hoping DizzC will return with "well, actually, it wasn't stuck THAT hard, I was just being extra cautious as I just bought this thing and I don't really need to replace the battery. So screwing around wasn't worth the risk."
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:43 PM   #11
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I thought it was a law of the universe that you always have one part left over after re-assembly?
It'll be the device, if your battery is dead.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:46 PM   #12
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Oh and there may be ways to clone the internal hard drive without having to connect it by a simpler direct mechanical connection. Wifi and some networking may give access to the whole thing. It's less physically involved but less dumb. I like dumb solutions.

This is what I'm thinking of. And it only lets you take an image, not write an image on the device:

http://blog.ringerc.id.au/2011/01/ta...i-without.html

Last edited by readingglasses; 07-27-2011 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:27 PM   #13
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I'm kind of hoping DizzC will return with "well, actually, it wasn't stuck THAT hard, I was just being extra cautious as I just bought this thing and I don't really need to replace the battery. So screwing around wasn't worth the risk."
This is actually true. I don't think it would be all that difficult to get the battery out if you really wanted to. From what I could tell it seems likes it is glued in not soldered. Since I didn't need for it to come out I just decided not to screw with it much.
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:53 AM   #14
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Ooooh DizzC, thats sooo good I love teardowns

I searched for the model number of the battery pack (LP404252ARU), and it seems that it is manufactured by BYD Corp. of China. They seem to be a pretty big company. It is not listed on their product page, but the pattern of the model number fits in.
On that certificate sheet from Underwriter Laboratories I found numerous battery pack model numbers from renowned electronics companies like Nikon and Nokia, so they have either manufactured third party replacement batteries for their devices, or maybe even those companies' original OEM batteries, but that remains unclear.

Good to know that the KT is so easy to open, in case the battery dies. I don't think it is glued in there like mad, probably some glue dots or tracks of glue around the edges. Glue costs money. Most likely the battery will come out by applying careful force.

It also seems that BYD is a pretty serious automobile copycat, just search for it, pretty... "astonishing"... Well, they are certainly not the only ones.

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Old 08-07-2011, 05:05 AM   #15
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I wonder if Kobo's own engineers have done that hardware design, or if they hired an engineering firm. Also wonder if that board is a Freescale reference design (at least partly) or if it's all custom.
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